Tag Archives: horror

Expanded Version of My BREATHE. BREATHE. Mixed Dark Fiction Collection is Here!

BreatheBreatheHey all, so today my mixed dark fiction collection, BREATHE. BREATHE., came out in its expanded edition and also in print and e-book format. When it first published in July, it was a handmade, limited edition chapbook from Unnerving (a Canadian magazine and book publisher), and it sold out. Now, I worked feverishly and and added 50% more poems and added three more short stories to accompany the previous two. I am really happy with how this turned out and how all the various themes mesh together under the large umbrella of breathing – through trauma, pain, murder, depression, anxiety, etc. And yet I also weaved folklore, history, mystery, and murder into it the poetry and the stories. There is also revenge, anger, fear, and madness tucked into the pages and wrapped in a Gothic atmosphere.

Selcouth Station remarked on the content in the limited edition that it was: “Raw, risky, and brave. Breathe Breathe could tear itself apart withthe amount of raw emotion contained in its fifty-seven pages. Al-Mehairi sheds light on difficult topics such as abuse, anxiety, loneliness, and love that hurts more than heals.”

I hope you’ll take a chance on my collection. It has a lovely foreword from the Bram Stoker nominated author Brian Kirk (We Are Monsters) to touchingly lead readers into the work. The response has been so kind and I am so humbled by the support and the thoughts on my work. I look forward to hearing from any readers who want to offer their thoughts too.

You can find it in paperback and kindle now on Amazon, or Kobo, but more online sites should pop up soon too. I’ll be back to offer more updates. And please do review or add my book to your TBR shelf on GoodReads too!

What’s it about?

Breathe. Breathe. is a collection of dark poetry and short fiction exploring the surreal depths of humanity. It’s a representation of how life breaks us apart and words put us back together. Purged onto the pages, dark emotions flow, urging readers into murky seas and grim forests, to the fine line between breathing and death.

In Act One, readers are presented with a serial killer in Victorian London, a lighthouse keeper with an eerie legacy, a murderous spouse that seems to have walked right out of a mystery novel, and a treacherous Japanese lady who wants to stay immortal. The heightened fears in the twilight of your minds will seep into the blackest of your nights, where you have to breathe in rhythm to stay alive.

In Act Two, the poetry turns more internal and pierces through the wall of denial and pain, bringing visceral emotions to the surface unleashing traumas such as domestic abuse, violence, and illness.

In the short stories, you’ll meet residents of Valhalla Lane whose lives are on a violent parallel track to collision, a man who is driven mad by the sound of a woodpecker, a teenage girl who wakes up on the beach and can’t find another soul in sight, a woman caught in a time shift pitting her against the Egyptian goddess Anuket, and a little girl whose whole world changes when her favorite dandelion yellow crayon is discontinued.

Amid these pages the haunting themes of oppression, isolation, revenge, and madness unfold through folklore, nightmares, and often times, raw, impulsive passion crafted to sear from the inside out.

With a touching foreword by the Bram Stoker nominated author Brian Kirk (We Are Monsters), Breathe. Breathe. will at times unsettle you, and at times embrace you.

Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi, a veteran writer and editor of the written word, offers up a mixed set of pieces, identifying her as a strong, new voice in dark fiction that will tear the heart from your chest, all the while reminding you to breathe.

dandelion quote

Praise for Breathe. Breathe.

“It’s full of the unexpected – bits of lace cut through with the odd and the horrible and the beautiful. Through it all I sense the power of a survivor!! And I love that!”

  • Sue Harrison, internationally best-selling author of Mother Earth Father Sky

“In Breathe. Breathe., Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi employs sharp, jagged words arranged in sparse, disturbingly visceral clusters to force readers to “breathe” through the fear and pain of abuse and personal terror. It’s a sense reinforced by the deceptively quiet but disquieting story, “Dandelion Yellow.” Filled with sharp sensory detail, the highlight is “Life-Giver of the Nile,” an evocative circular time-shift tale in which an Egyptologist’s soul is required by Anuket, ancient and modern goddess of the Nile, for a greater purpose. Whether in poetry or prose, dark kernels nestled within horror tropes indicate that Al-Mehairi writes from the gut and from the heart but with the fierceness of a survivor, the soul of a fearless champion. This mixed collection is a fine introduction to a strong, intriguing new voice in dark fiction.”

  • W.D. Gagliani, Bram Stoker Finalist, author of Wolf’s Trap (Nick Lupo Series)

“Breathe. Breathe. is at times haunting, visceral, bittersweet, and tender. Erin Al Mehairi bares her soul and invites readers to devour it whole.”

  • Hunter Shea, author of We Are Always Watching

“Erin Al-Mehairi weaves a web of narrative and poetry both beautiful and nightmare-inducing in Breathe. Breathe., invoking heartache and the need to see through the shining masks life presents us to confront the darkness it truly holds.”

  • Michelle Garza, co-author of Bram Stoker nominated Mayan Blue

”I loved Dandelion Yellow.  I was hyperventilating at the end, but it was such a beautiful, painful and artful tale.  I’ll be saying that last line to myself for weeks at least. Just beautiful.  I’m re-reading the rest.  One read just isn’t enough because DAYUM.  Beautiful.”

  • Somer Canon, author of Vicki Beautiful and The Killer Chronicles

“A tireless champion of horror fiction, Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi breaks into the genre with her debut collection BREATHE. BREATHE. Her dark and vivid poetry and short stories will be sure to delight fans of dark fiction! “Night Stalked” is definitely one of the stand-out poems you will find within.”

  • Rich Duncan, The Horror Bookshelf

“Raw, risky, and brave. Breathe Breathe could tear itself apart with the amount of raw emotion contained in its fifty-seven pages. Al-Mehairi sheds light on difficult topics such as abuse, anxiety, loneliness, and love that hurts more than heals.”

  • Selcouth Station

“Wonderful writing that explores the dark corners of your mind, where fear grabs you, and you struggle to breathe.”

  • David Spell, The Scary Reviews

Erin, Biograpy –

Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi has Bachelor of Arts degrees in English, Journalism, and History. She has 20 years of experience in the communication fields and is currently a writer, a journalist, a publicist, and an editor among many other things.

She writes fiction, essays, stories, and poetry and is an avid reader of many genres. She has edited poetry anthologies, novels, fiction pieces, and other various non-fiction and journalistic pieces. As a journalist, she’s written, interviewed, and edited for various newspapers, magazines, media outlets, and online news sources at both ends of the spectrum in media and public relations.

As an entrepreneur, she owns two businesses: Addison’s Compass Public Relations and Hook of a Book Media, in which she acts as a PR/Marketing Consultant, publicist, and editor. She also handles marketing and PR for Sinister Grin Press, where she is also an editor. Her third pursuit is writing her own works for publication. She volunteers her time in the community and is the chairwoman on the board of directors for a local mental health center and rape crisis and domestic violence safe haven.

She is the mother of three school-aged children and a cat. She lives with her family in rural Ohio nestled in the forest—a place just ripe for nightmares. Her passions are reading, writing, book hunting, hiking, and entertainment such as movies/film, television, and music. Oh, and she bakes, because you can’t do any of that without cookies.

Erin is a co-host with her Marketing Morsels segment on Project Entertainment Network’s The Mando Method, an award-winning weekly podcast for new and veteran writers.

Breathe. Breathe., published by Unnerving, is her debut collection and a mix of dark poetry and short stories. She will also be featured in the upcoming anthology from Unnerving called Hardened Hearts coming in at the end of 2017. Many other works in various genres are in progress as well.

You can e-mail her at hookofabook (at) hotmail (dot) com and find her easily at www.hookofabook.wordpress.com. You’ll also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest where she loves new friends.

 

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My New Cover for My Expanded Collection, BREATHE. BREATHE.

I wanted to share with you that Unnerving Magazine will be publishing an expanded version of BREATHE. BREATHE., my dark poetry and fiction collection, at the end of this week. In July, they published it in limited edition chapbook and it sold out, and now, it will be available online at the Unnerving site, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. I am beyond thrilled and have written 50% more content for this expanded edition in both poetry and short stories. I welcome your support and thoughts. I am so excited and appreciate so much the publisher, Eddie, taking a chance on my work. He’s been amazing to work with. So without me writing too much more, I wanted to show you all the NEW cover, featuring a dandelion, just like the story in the collection, “Dandelion Yellow.” However, breathing is still such a steady theme throughout the book in so many ways. I hope you like it as much I do! The cover was done by Eddie himself!

More information to come about my collection on my blog soon. The book launches the end of this week! 🙂 Thanks to everyone who has been kind enough to support me!

Erin

BreatheBreathe

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One Killer Interview with Author Hunter Shea, Master of the Paranormal Horror

Today on the site we have one of my most favorite authors ever–the never elusive, extremely funny, and all around great guy Hunter Shea!!! Let’s see how much he tries to scare our socks off this time. He told me he has revealed more in this interview than anywhere before…..and I’m kicking myself for not asking him even MORE questions! If you like paranormal, creepy, horror, and the like, then you’ll want to check out what Shea has to say.

Or maybe start with a kiss……

Hunter kissing a skull

Hi, Hunter! So happy to have you stop by the blog today so I can infiltrate your monster of a mind. 🙂 One of my favorite times on the blog is when you are hanging out…

Hunter: Thanks Erin. Glad to see you lifted the restraining order so I can come around again. I’ve tried to stir up all the cranial beasties and spirits, just for you!

Erin: You sure know how to rub a girl the right way….! I’m anxious to ask you some questions to let readers get to know you and your writing better, as well as catch up on your news for 2013!

Q: When did you first start writing? Have you always had a love affair with the pen?

A: I started writing with the aim of doing more than just killing time in the mid 1990’s. I was in a dead end job and my friend Norm who sat next to me was working on a book whenever he had some down time in the office. I was going through a tough time and Norm both inspired and coached me along the way. I thank him every chance I get (and dedicated my book, Swamp Monster Massacre to him). As a kid and a teen I used to write zombie poems and dystopian stories littered with tough guys who said inane things and battled creatures. Then college came and writing only became something you did to get a good grade on a paper…or writing flyers for wing night or free keg. It wasn’t until my mid-twenties when the bug burrowed under my skin and became a passion. And boy, it only grows with each passing year.

Erin Comments: “My friend Norm” sounds like a Cheers episode. Boy am I glad your friend Norm was writing novels and not just tipping back beers. Otherwise you’d be a drunk not an author….lol! Now I’m wondering what happened to Norm and if he published anything….

Q:  Your writing is pretty polished. You have a nice tone to your writing voice. How did you perfect this over the years?

A: Now you’re making me blush. Lots of practice, trial and colossal error. I didn’t even attempt writing a novel in my favorite genre, horror, until I’d been working on short stories and novels in other genres for almost 8 years. My very first full length book was a romantic comedy, of all things, but the voice wasn’t quite mine. It was hard getting the voices in my head to translate onto the page. I realized early on that everything I was writing was not solid gold. I have a vampire novella in a file that induces nausea quicker than a shot of Ipecac. I learned from my mistakes on that one and moved on to another that was slightly less horrible. I just kept at it until I was comfortable with my voice and style.

Erin Comments: Would love to see a vampire novel from you! And I can see why’d you write comedy, you’re so funny.

Q: Where do you come up with all the evil stories you churn out? What gives you inspiration?

A: I was raised a good Irish Catholic altar boy. I know evil when I see it! I thank God that my father let me watch horror and sci-fi flicks from day one on this big blue marble. We had a drive-in theater by our house so I got to see all these wonderfully awful B movie monster and biker flicks. We had Chiller Theatre on TV and this new writer called Stephen King giving everyone nightmares. I’ve loved horror for as long as I can remember and I was blessed with an overactive imagination. Now I get to put it to work!

Erin Comments: It’s always those preacher kid and good little altar boys isn’t it? Ha!

forest of shadows

Q:  When following a creative lead, how do you write? Outline first or just write what comes into your head?

A: I’ve heard other writers talk about their process and I guess I fall into the ‘organic’ category. I despise outlines. I did too many of them in school. Whenever I think of doing one, I get the feeling there’s an angry Brother behind me tapping a ruler in the palm of his hand. I develop a basic idea for a novel and kind of let my subconscious turn it around for a few months. If I still want to do it months later, I’ll start research (on locations or events or people), then pick a day to sit my ass down and start typing. I let the story kind of write itself and I’m always surprised by how my novels and characters end up. It’s pretty cool. Kind of like a medium and automatic writing, except it’s just the dark recesses of my demented brain doing all the heavy work.

Erin Comments: Knowing you, I am determined you just press your finger to the screen and say download. I don’t know how you write so fast….but glad you do.

Q: Who are some of your favorite authors?  Who inspires you? I think you are unique in your writing style, an original. Would you say so, or are you compared to any certain novelists in how you approach your stories?

A: I’m sure there are bits of every author I admire in my work. I do make a conscious effort to not sound like anyone else, but it’s hard to keep all your influences and loves at bay. I re-read several Hemingway books every year. If you want to learn brevity and the power of words, you have to study him. For horror, aside from the master, King, I’ve devoured everything by Robert McCammon, Brian Keene, Richard Matheson and Bentley Little. Oh, and I can’t forget my pal Norm Hendricks.

Q:  I know you are a huge video and film buff. What are some of your favorite all-time movies? Why?

A: Me likey movies. Hell, I started the Monster Men podcast with my bud Jack Campisi because we both loved scary movies so much. For my money, Alien is the best horror and the best sci-fi movie of all time. I mean, holy cow. There is nothing scarier than that creature, especially when Dallas was going through the air ducts with the flame thrower and they can see the alien on the radar coming up on him and he can’t! I still get chills.

The Big Lebowski is my #1 favorite movie. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is funnier. The Hunter abides. I love Excalibur and its grandiose story, music and action. King Arthur kicks some serious ass. The Haunting (the original, not that abomination of a remake) is proof that you can make a terrifying ghost movie without special effects. Rosemary’s Baby is just plain creepy, as is The Sentinel. I could go on forever (and you can all see Jack and I pontificate at The Monster Men…and it’s all free!).

the-graveyard-speaks

Q:  What movies are you looking forward to this year?

A: I haven’t been too thrilled with movies the past few years. I really can’t think of anything I feel like I absolutely have to see in 2013. I’m sure something will come out of the blue and surprise me. Of course, I’ll watch anything with Salma Hayek. Hence my ponying up money to see Here Comes the Boom. I’m so shallow.

Erin Comments: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter was awesome!!

Q:  What books are you looking forward to reading this year?

A: I have a whole wish list of books from other authors at Samhain that I can’t wait to dive into. I’m finally going to get around to reading NightWhere by John Everson. I hear it’s kinky and twisted. John is a super nice guy. Hard to imagine that coming from him…that is, until I went to one of his short story readings. He’s a sick puppy, alright! I also can’t wait to read The Narrows by Ron Malfi, another awesome dude and Tumor Fruit by bizarro master Carlton Mellick. Carlton is an acquired taste, but he hooks you like a drug. I’m also looking forward to reading The Lawgiver by Herman Wouk. My Amazon wish list is about 60 books long. I’m hoping to get through all of them this year.

Q:  How did you begin to take a turn with your writing in regards to being published or publishing your work?

A: I wrote my first horror novel, Forest of Shadows, with the intention of sending it to editor Don D’Auria who was at Dorchester/Leisure horror at the time. I was an avid fan of the entire Leisure line and wrote my book to make sure it fit in with the tone and style they were looking for, which was also the style I enjoyed writing. I submitted it only to Don and waited…for 3+ years. Then, out of the blue, I got an email from Don saying he wanted the book. For the first time in my life, I was speechless. Before I could sign the final contract, though, Dorchester went under. Luckily, Don signed up with Samhain a few months later and asked if I wanted to head up the new horror line. It’s all been wonderful since then.

evil-eternal-cover

Q:  I know you set out for Evil Eternal to be a comic book.  Why do you describe it as such?  Do you still have hopes of it becoming drawn? 

A: I grew up loving comic books and have always wanted to write one. Evil Eternal is so over-the-top, so visual, so gory, I still hope we can get this in graphic comic form some day. It doesn’t read like anything else I’ve written. The characters are larger than life and dammit, they need to be drawn! 🙂

Erin Comments: Yes, it does and the cover is awesome. You can see my review HERE.

Q:  Have you written any other comic stories? Movie scripts? Tell us a little bit about what other writing you do besides on your novels.

A: Over the years I’ve written tons of stories in all genres except romance. I’ve never read a romance novel and I feel you can’t write something you have never read. Just a rule of mine. I also wrote a darkly comedic suspense novel back in 2000.

My one experience with script writing was, in hindsight, a funny disaster. A friend of mine met the head writer of a very, very popular crime show on network TV. He told him about my desire to be a writer and the guy asked me to write an episode of one of the top comedies on TV at the time. I spent 2 weeks watching every episode to get the characters, cadence and overall flavor down. Then I spent another 2 weeks writing and polishing the script. Turns out I did a good job, because the script was stolen by a staff writer and pitched to the producers. I didn’t get credit, but I did learn some valuable lessons about protecting my work, especially in a script/screenplay environment.  

Erin Comments: That sucks!! But glad you take it as a compliment.

Q:  Where is the best place for you to write? Do you make set times to do so, or try to do it wherever and whenever the muse strikes?

A: I have a corner of my bedroom that is my writing cave, but I’ve learned to write wherever I can. That could be in the kitchen, in the living room surrounded by my family, in libraries, my car, airports, hotels, you name it. When I’m knee deep in a project, I make sure I write at least 6 days a week and you can’t always do it in the place or the time you want, so you make do with what you have and where you are. You know what they say, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.”

Erin Comments: Remember the post about writing in the kitchen….read HERE.

Q:  I know you have a Monster Men podcast and I enjoy listening to some of them. How did this come about? Can you tell us more about it?

A: Jack Campisi and I worked together for many years and discovered that our childhoods intersected but we’d somehow never met. We have the same sensibilities, likes, and passion for movies and horror. We’d always said we should just do a show where we talk about the things we love, like watching us sit at the bar and debate the state of the zombie as a genre.

When my first book, Forest of Shadows, was picked up, Jack decided it was time we put our money where our mouths are so I could also use the show as a way to promote my books. This summer we’ll have been doing it for 2 years and it gets better and better (and funnier). We say we have a lighthearted approach to dark topics. I do think we take a unique angle when it comes to talking about movies, books and the paranormal. It’s all about having fun.

Erin Comments: JACK is the MAN!!

swampmonstermassacre

Q: Tell us about your previous novels/novellas first, then let us know what is upcoming for you this year. What will be published?

A: My latest novella is Swamp Monster Massacre, a sweaty slog through Florida’s Everglades with a pack of vicious skunk apes on the trail of a group of shipwrecked tourists led by a crook named Rooster. It’s non-stop, relentless fun, and a chance for me to give some love to Bigfoot’s wet, smelly cousin. People have really taken to it and it’s my most successful book to date (as of January 2013).

In April, Samhain released my next novel, Sinister Entity, and a short story that precedes it, The Graveyard Speaks. Both are sequels to Forest of Shadows and center around a 19 year old ghost hunter with nerves of steel and unknown paranormal abilities of her own. She’s joined by the descendant of famed spiritualist D.D. Home and together they go up against angry poltergeists, malevolent spirits and the terrifying doppelganger of a young girl.

They’ve hit top selling lists on Samhain’s website and TGS has hit a top list on Amazon. The Graveyard Speaks is still free, for now, and introduces my ghost hunter. It takes the reader right into Sinister Entity and should give folks a chill or two up their spines.

Erin Comments:  You can read reviews of Forest of Shadows HERE, The Graveyard Speaks HERE, and Sinister Entity HERE.

sinisterentity

Q: What are you currently working on? What is on the horizon for Hunter Shea?

A: I started my next novel already, as a matter of fact and have a first draft done to turn in at the end of the month. I don’t want to give away much, but I will say it’s set in Wyoming in the early 1900s and Teddy Roosevelt will be a minor character. And no, he’s not hunting vampires or killing zombies. That’s already been done. It’s going to be a unique story with a lot of true history behind it. I also completed a novella that is based on the actual paranormal events my wife and I went through over a decade ago. More on that to come…

Erin Comments: I can’t wait, sounds amazing!

Q:  Your favorite movie snack?

A: Popcorn, without a doubt. I could eat the stuff for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And theaters, don’t give me that pre-popped in a giant bag crap. Pop it fresh. It’s not that hard to do.

Erin Comments: Mine too, extra butter! It’s how I keep a nice round butt!

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Q:  How can readers and fans connect with you?

A: The best place to find me is on my web lair at www.huntershea.com. There you can read my blog, excerpts of my books, free short stories, every Monster Men podcast and more. You can find the Monster Men on our You Tube channel, Monster Men 13. I also have a Facebook fan page (Hunter Shea, of course) and you can follow me on Twitter at HunterShea1.

Erin:  Thanks so much for joining me. It was a lot of fun, as always, to talk to you.  You’re a great writer with a friendly side.  Your books scare me more than you do. *wink*

Hunter:  Thank you for having me. I love what you’ve done with the place. And sure, you say my books scare you more now. Wait till I visit and stay for a week. Then you’ll see. *wink*

Author Hunter Shea, Biography~

I’m the product of a childhood weened on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. I don’t just write about the paranormal. I actively seek out the things that scare the hell out of people and experience them for myself.

My novels, Forest of Shadows, Evil Eternal , Swamp Monster Massacre and Sinister Entity are published through Samhain Publishing’s horror line. I live with my family and untrainable cat close enough to New York City to get Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits.

I’m also proud to be be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with my partner in crime, Jack Campisi. Our show is a light hearted approach to dark subjects. We explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun.

Feel free to contact me any time at huntershea1@gmail.com. Writing is lonely work.

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Exclusive and Magical Interview with Talented & Creative Melika Lux on Much More than Her City of Lights Novel

Today, we have a special treat  because we have an exclusive interview with a very talented and sweet person, author Melika Lux. You can read my review of Melika’s book by clicking CITY OF LIGHTS.

Our interview is VERY in-depth and you will marvel at Melika’s original personality, including how a trained stage soprano has such an addiction to Great White Sharks!!

Melika LuxI am pleased to have you stop by for a visit today, Melika! You sound like a fabulously creative person. How are you?

Melika:  I am great, Erin, and thrilled to be here!  

Erin:  So happy!  Let’s move on and learn more about you and your writing!

Q:  When did you first begin to write? What gave you the inspiration?

A:  My love for writing grew out of an early love for reading.  I think what led me to this point, what essentially caused the inspiration to germinate, was that my mother started reading to me when I was in the womb, and my father told me wild, not-exactly-verifiable tall tales while I was still in the cradle.  I remember writing little stories and vignettes when I was a very young child and also staging my first play (an adaptation of King of Kings) when I was eight years old.  The budget was nonexistent, so my family was conscripted into the production, with my dad and mom playing six parts each.  I think that was when the writing bug first reared its head and bit me squarely on the heart. I felt a little like Cecil B. DeMille after that.  There is a VHS of the play floating around somewhere.  It is one of my first memories of writing.

One turning point I can recall was when I was about eleven or twelve.  I wrote a very short story along the lines of Jurassic Park.  It was about a brother and sister being chased to the edge of a cliff by a T-Rex.  The kids gave the Rex the old “one-two-jump!” fake out and the dinosaur tumbled over the cliff.  End of story—happily ever after for everyone except the Rex. But the point was that it was fun! I had actually finished something I’d set out to write! It was great, even though it was only six pages long! You have to start somewhere, right?

Q:   What inspires you currently in your overall writing?

A: What began to stand out more and more to me as the years wore on, and what I think was the real reason I truly grew to love writing so much, was the freedom it gave me to be able to get lost in a different world.  I love creating characters and their individual stories.  Everything that a person experiences in his or her life affects the person they become and how they react to situations, so being able to explore this with my characters is something I am always eager to do—uncovering what motivates them, what drives their worldview, why they would make a decision in a particular situation, what makes them tick, etc.  It is thrilling when characters develop so fully that they essentially start to write the stories themselves.

Currently, I’m most interested and inspired by trying out different storytelling mediums and POVs. My preferred method of telling a story is first person, but in my latest works, I’m using third person limited and also third person omniscient, which presents a whole heap of challenges! I’m also experimenting with short stories. You would think this would be easier, but I’m finding it an exciting challenge to tell a complete and gripping story in 40 pages or less rather than having a broad canvas (my last novel, Corcitura, was 700 pages long) on which to paint, essentially, the characters’ lives.

My last two novels were primarily historical fiction, City of Lights: The Trials and Triumphs of Ilyse Charpentier being an historical fiction/family saga set in Paris in 1894, and Corcitura  being an historical fiction/supernatural thriller, complete with hybrid vampires, which takes place over the years 1888-1895 in locales across Europe and in Gilded Age New York. I have felt very comfortable writing in this era due to the fact that I read a tremendous amount of fantastic Victorian literature during my high school and college years and fell in love with the period. However, I am now transitioning into dystopian, horror, comedy, and fantasy. Talk about freeing! I no longer have to worry about when a word came into the vernacular! Huzzah! Besides that added bonus, I love to genre-hop and not confine myself to one particular time period. It keeps thinks exciting.

Q:  Did your musical background play any part in your writing? Also, explain your musical background for our readers.

A: Definitely. I’ve been surrounded by music since I was born and have been singing, dancing, and playing the violin and piano since I was three years old. I was part of a children’s performing group for most of my childhood and was also a member of a local youth symphony orchestra from the ages of 8-18. In addition to singing throughout my community and state, I also performed the role of Meg Giry in a college production of The Phantom of the Opera. What a blast! 😀

In regards to my writing, I draw a lot of inspiration from certain pieces of music, especially movie soundtracks and instrumental numbers, which I love to have playing in the background as I write. Currently, for the dystopian/fantasy novel I’m writing, I keep epic music/soundtracks looping at a low volume in my ear buds. It really spurs my imagination and helps when trying to strike the right mood in battle and intense scenes, especially when there are “creatures” involved.

For City of Lights, Hanging by a Moment by Lifehouse was a huge inspiration and a song I kept looping in the background as I wrote the novel:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESWjziG5B54

To me, this song epitomizes Ilyse and Ian’s love story, and remains a favorite of mine to this day.

Q:  Have you ever danced or been on the stage? If so, explain and if it helped in the writing of your book. What inspired you to write about a Parisian chanteuse in City of Lights?

A: Yes! As I mentioned above, I was part of a children’s performing group from the ages of 3-11. Additionally, I am a classically trained soprano. My most recent performance was in February 2012, at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, FL. You can view the entire concert or excerpts of my solos by clicking on the following link: http://booksinmybelfry.com/music/

Music has always been inextricably linked to City of Lights. The entire novel was actually inspired by a song. One night in December 2002, I was puttering around in my room when I suddenly started singing verses of a song I had made up in that moment.

“Tonight’s the last time that I’ll see your face, my love. This dreadful moment has finally come to be. Tonight the passion ends for you and me, my love. I’m traveling to a place where life will be hell for me…good-bye.”

My mind exploded with questions. Who was this girl? Why was she being forced to give up her love? Why would her life be so awful?

From that song, City of Lights: The Trials and Triumphs of Ilyse Charpentier was born. The song became Tonight, the lyrics directly inspiring the novel and making their way into a pivotal scene toward the end of the book. Now, the only thing remaining was a setting. I’m a singer, a Francophile, and a devotee of fin de siècle culture and literature, so the idea of Paris, a cabaret, forbidden love, and the added tension arising from my heroine being estranged from her brother (her only living relative) was too exciting not to pursue.

My grand plan all along was (and still is) for City of Lights to be a musical.  In addition to Tonight, I wrote eight other songs that inspired further chapters and the overall story arc, the lyrics of those songs also being adapted into dialogue and scenes. Even though the musical is still on the distant horizon, the spirit of the songs thread through the entire novel. And in case you were wondering, the recordings are securely stored in an undisclosed location, waiting for the day when they will see the light once again.  😉

In May 2003, at the age of eighteen, I began writing Ilyse’s story. Eight months later, City of Lights was complete, and another four years later, it was published. Now, it has been given a new look and is being made available to an entirely new readership!

COL Cover

Q:  Myself, I love books and information on the late 1800s to early 1900s in Paris. The entire ballet scene and its behind the scenes drama can be an infuriating tale to tell. Apparently, women still endure the dealings of men pulling their strings so to speak. What interests you most about this time period? Any further thoughts on the performance industry?

A: I’ve been interested in the fin de siècle for as long as I can remember. I think I first became cognizant of how exciting this time period was when I was about 8 or 9 and had just learned to play Orpheus in the Underworld with my local youth symphony orchestra. The Galop Infernal in that operetta became, of course, the Can-Can theme. That piece stayed with me over the years and led me to do research when I got older. As I learned more about France and the culture surrounding the cabarets and dancehalls, I was hooked and became a confirmed Francophile. Since writing City of Lights, I have become increasingly interested in that whole milieu and have since read Camille (A brilliant and tragic novel about the lives of the demimondaine—highly recommended!) and a few novels by Colette. I’m always on the lookout for new reads from or about that fascinating time period when securing the right patron could either make you a star or confine you to the gilded cage, as was the case with Ilyse.  

As for the performance industry, the main facet that I culled and incorporated into City of Lights was favoritism. Ilyse, although she is talented and the best singer to have graced the Parisian stage in years, is Sergei’s favorite. He “plucked her from obscurity” (a fact he never lets her forget) and made her a star. Without him, she most probably would have starved or been forced into a life of squalor, but given how controlling and suffocating Sergei’s hold over her is, accepting his patronage is a choice Ilyse regrets almost immediately.

Q:  I read the biography on your website and laughed to myself because in high school I decided I was either going to school to be a writer or a marine biologist (same as you)!!! I decided I was not cut out enough for the math and just loved the ocean and animal cause, so I went to college for Journalism instead so I could write all about all the many things I love. I came away also with English and History degrees. That all said, besides being afraid of sharks, what really did pull you towards your creative pursuits as compared to science? How do you feel about your decision?

A: Haha, what a coincidence!!! I’ve been obsessed with sharks from a young age. I remember going to Sea World as a three-year-old and spouting off names of all the sharks in the little pond outside the Shark Encounter ride. I also literally started watching Shark Week at the age of two during its inaugural season 26 years ago (dating myself here ;). I still remember them flashing the poster of an enormous Great White shark with a Bermuda-shorted surfer inside its gaping mouth. Fun stuff! 😉   

Then came Jaws—the movie, not the book. Let’s not even go there in regards to the book. I’ve never been more disappointed with a reading experience in my life! But I digress… I became fascinated with Jaws around the age of five when I went to Pic ‘n Save and saw the movie poster. What is it with me and posters? Anyway, I now make it a point to watch the movie twice a year, once on my birthday and once on the last day of Shark Week.  You probably wouldn’t want to watch the movie with me because I know practically all the lines and usually say them in the same voices the characters use. My favorite, obviously, is Quint. “I’m talkin’ about sharkin’!” I sing his little sea shanties with him, too. 😉

What made me consider a career change, however, probably had something to do with Nigel Marvin and the premiere of Air Jaws around the year 2000. The fact that sharks could rocket out of the water was a paradigm shift for me and sort of tilted my world off its axis. Breaching sharks! It was a literary goldmine! Not to mention that it scared the wits out of me to think that I could be quietly minding my own business in a nice safe boat when Mr. Whitey would suddenly decide to go airborne and take me along for the ride. So that was when I knew I’d have more fun writing sharks into my stories instead of sharing the water with them. Strangely enough, though, a small insane part of me would still love to go cage diving with them in South Africa. We’ll see… 😉

As far as creative pursuits in comparison to science, I still love the minutiae of marine and ocean studies, but I now find it much more exciting to be able to do the research or incorporate what I know about sharks and their behavior into my writings. In the dystopian epic I’m working on, white sharks play a huge role as one of the main antagonists (technically, a race of antagonists, because there are a lot of them!) of the story. They have their own species name, stratified society, unusual sharky abilities, and rather wicked roles to play in the oppressive world I’m creating. They are the toothed enforcers of the realm and have a symbiotic relationship with the undead soldiers who train them. They also get to wear steel helms and are so fierce you honestly can’t help thinking they are just a little bit awesome, as all Great Whites generally are. 😉 If I say any more, I’ll be giving away the plot, but suffice it to say that sharks are fascinating in real life and in literature, so I’m having a tremendously fun time giving them their own personalities and storylines and writing about their undeniable appeal in the new book. By the way, I’m a bit of a shark snob, so pretty much the only species of shark I’ll ever write about are Great Whites—my favorites. I tend to view every other shark as a poser. 😉

As a side note, I recently took the Discovery Channel’s shark personality quiz and was matched with, you guessed it, Carcharodon carcharias. I always had a feeling… 😉  

Q:  What do you feel was an interesting or important point in history in regards to women and women’s history?

A: I’ve often wondered how I would have fared as a woman writer if I had been born a few centuries ago. When I think about this, the person who always comes to mind in regards to the restrictions on women and how they were looked down upon for being writers (as were women who chose to go on the stage; the horror! Remember the scandal with Nell Gwyn?!) is Charlotte Bronte and how she originally signed her name to Jane Eyre as Currer Bell. I know the novel had been rejected many times and she was listening to the advice of Wordsworth and others, who claimed that “novel-writing wasn’t the proper pastime of a lady,” but it must have been infuriating to not be able to lay claim to your own work, especially a work as brilliant as Jane Eyre. It’s infuriating to me nearly two centuries later! In my own writing, particularly in the first book of my fantasy duology, I have a character who looks down on his fiancée because she reads too many novels. Can you imagine that kind of attitude today?! So, as far as women’s history goes, I believe that when we started to take charge of our writing careers and not care what men and other women (who could be just as spiteful and controlling, if not more so) or society thought of our chosen profession, this was a giant leap forward and an important advancement, at least to my thinking, for the suffragette movement and ensuring the right to vote.

Q:  Do you feel women should “schedule” time for themselves as writers? Do women sacrifice too much instead of pursuing the muse inside them?  How do you make time for writing?

A: I think it depends on your situation in life. If you’re single, of course you should have more time to write, or at least I would hope so! If you have family and job obligations, however, it becomes much more difficult to carve out pockets of time, but still not impossible. If you’re driven enough and passionate about your writing, though, you can find time to write in just about any instance, even if it’s only a few seconds to scribble down ideas on the corner of a napkin. I’m speaking from experience here. 😉

I do think, however, that women should try to set aside some quiet time (easier said than done!) where they can be alone and just let inspiration flow onto the page. I have a friend who designates specific days during the week where she will not take any phone calls or make appointments and just dedicates those set times to writing, so you can make it work; you just have to be creative about it.

I try to carve out writing time at least every day. Sometimes I’ll have a span of maybe four or five hours in the evening, and sometimes weekends are totally devoted to writing. It depends on family obligations and other things that are going on, those so-called “life interruptions” that can be so detrimental to letting the muse have its day! 😉

Q:  Where are some grand places you’ve traveled, or would like to travel? And why?

A: To date, I’ve been to Switzerland, England, Wales, France, Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic (visiting Prague was a great help in setting the scene for the latter part of Corcitura), Austria, and Hungary. In addition, I’ve been to several Caribbean islands and 25 of our 50 states, my favorite being Hawaii, which I had the opportunity to visit eleven years ago. I do not have an ounce of Hawaiian blood, but my first name is Hawaiian (it means Melissa), so I’ve always felt an affinity for the islands.

I would love to visit Ireland and also Russia one day—Ireland because my paternal grandmother’s family is from there and I’ve always been fascinated by the country (most recently by the entire Home Rule debate—thank you Downton Abbey! ;), and Russia because I’ve been a Russophile since I saw the animated movie Anastasia when I was twelve. The viewing of that film also engendered in me a fascination with the Romanovs that continues to this day.

Q:  Do you have some favorite authors? Some authors who have mentored your thoughts?

A: Yes, several! Some of my particular favorites would have to be P. G. Wodehouse, Jean Plaidy, Georgette Heyer, Daphne Du Maurier, Agatha Christie (I can never get enough of her mysteries! So entertaining!), Alexandre Dumas, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, and Sarah Rayne for her riveting novels of psychological suspense! Wilkie Collins is my wild card in there, too, and I also love everything I’ve ever read by Shannon Hale. Her novels are pure magic. 

As far as mentoring, it would have to be Dumas for his amazing ability to write action scenes, Wodehouse for showing me the trick to making people laugh in fiction, Jane for the effortless way she writes the “dance of romance,” and Tollers and Jack (Tolkien and Lewis) for being the standard by which I measure all fantasy and motivating me to always be original.

Q: What other writings have you done? What’s next for you?

A: My latest novel, Corcitura, was published last year. Here is everything you need to know about the novel in a nutshell: Two vampires…one victim…endless trouble. Beginning in London in the year 1888, Corcitura tells the story of best friends Eric Bradburry and Stefan Ratliff, two eighteen-year-old Englishmen who are experiencing their first taste of freedom by setting out on a solo, grand tour of Europe. But what begins as the adventure of a lifetime, quickly explodes into a twisted untangling of centuries-old secrets as our protagonists are forced to flee from people who turn out to be much older—and somehow possess alarming otherworldly powers—than they originally appear. I am talking, of course, about vampires, and the two progenitors of the Corcitura are the stuff of nightmare: a half-wolf, half-vampire Vrykolakas and a five-hundred-year-old Upyr with an uncontrollable desire to create a hybrid creature to use as his own personal agent of destruction.

But vampires are just one facet of this story. Not only are the vampires horrifying, and their trickery something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, but they have fascinating backstories that are inextricably linked with one of the main protagonists and his family—especially his sisters, who have a crucial role to play in how this story works itself out. If you love seeing female vampire protagonists having a major role in the outcome of the story, then you will love the two in this book. Let’s hear it for the girls! They have enough history and chutzpah to fill volumes more—which is my intended plan. They also happen to be werewolves. And if that duality doesn’t intrigue you, I don’t know what will!

My current project is the book with the sharks that I was talking about before. It is a complete revamping and reworking of my original first novel that I began at the age of fourteen, but abandoned for school, life, and other projects. I have been working on it since July of 2012 and have been totally transforming it into a dystopian epic set in a brutal and lawless world. The entire theme and outcome of the story have changed drastically (the sharks were always there, although they are a much bigger part of the story now), but all the exciting bits (mythical beasts, hidden identities, battles, political intrigue, and some truly horrifying and treacherous villains) are still part of the fabric of the story. With the passage of years, however, everything within the story seems to have more meaning and gravitas to me now. It is definitely not the same book I would have written as a fourteen-year-old, so I am very happy I put the novel on hold.

Additionally, I am mapping out and reworking my fantasy duology (which I’ve also been writing since 2003—that was my banner year for creative ideas, it seems!) and am currently finishing up a collection of short comedy/fantasy/horror stories set in Eastern and Northern Europe in the 1800s. It has been an exciting challenge to essentially create mini-novels in 40 pages or less for this collection.   

Q:  How can readers connect with you?

A: I would love for readers to connect with me on any or all of the following sites:

My website:  http://www.booksinmybelfry.com/

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/950456.Melika_Dannese_Lux (Books are my passion. I love discussing great novels and non-fiction/history with other readers, so feel free to send me a friend invite!)

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BooksInMyBelfry 

And if you want to contact me directly, here is my email: booksinmybelfry@hotmail.com

Erin:  Thank you so very much for sitting down and talking with me today. We wish you much continued success in all your creative pursuits!  It was so nice to get to learn more about you.

Melika:  This has been so much fun, Erin! Thanks for letting me share a bit of myself and my work with you and your readers! 😀

City of Lights, Synopsis~

COL CoverPublication Date: October 23, 2012
Books in My Belfry, LLC
Paperback; 166p
ISBN-10: 0615708269

What would you risk for the love of a stranger?

Ilyse Charpentier, a beautiful young chanteuse, is the diva of the 1894 Parisian cabaret scene by night and the unwilling obsession of her patron, Count Sergei Rakmanovich, at every other waking moment.

Though it has always been her secret desire, Ilyse’s life as “La Petite Coquette” of the Paris stage has turned out to be anything but the glamorous existence she had dreamt of as a girl. As a young woman, Ilyse has already suffered tragedy and become estranged from her beloved brother, Maurice, who blames her for allowing the Count to drive them apart.

Unhappy and alone, Ilyse forces herself to banish all thoughts of independence until the night Ian McCarthy waltzes into her life. Immediately taken with the bold, young, British expatriate, Ilyse knows it is time to choose: will she break free and follow her heart or will she remain a slave to her patron’s jealous wrath for the rest of her life?

Melika Lux, Biography~

Melika LuxI write historical fiction, suspense, supernatural thrillers, horror, fantasy, sci-fi, short stories—you name it, I write it! I love to read just about anything and everything and am particularly fond of historical fiction, the classics, mysteries, epic fantasy, history, and non-fiction. I am also a classically trained soprano/violinist/pianist and have been performing since the age of three. Additionally, I hold a BA in Management and an MBA in Marketing.

I am a HUGE fan of Psych, most British drama, comedy, and mystery shows, and am always up for a movie quote challenge. Jaws is my favorite movie of all time, with The Lord of the Rings being a very close second. Tell me something about yourself, and I’ll most probably be able to “Six Degrees of Separation” it back to Gandalf.

Lastly, I love to spend time with my family and friends, and I absolutely adore traveling. Not only is it great to experience other cultures, but travelling expands my horizons as a writer and sets my imagination reeling with a million different ideas for stories. If I hadn’t decided to become a writer (And there’s a Gandalf story for that, too.), I would have become a marine biologist, but after countless years spent watching Shark Week, I realized I’m very attached to my arms and legs and would rather write sharks into my stories than get up close and personal with those toothy wonders.

I am currently working on the sequel to my supernatural thriller/historical novel Corcitura, a collection of comedy/horror/fantasy stories set in Eastern Europe in the 1800s, and the first book of a planned fantasy duology. To learn more, please visit www.booksinmybelfry.com.

City of Lights Tour Banner FINAL

Link to Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/cityoflightsvirtualtour/
Twitter Hashtag: #CityOfLightsVirtualTour

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Ted Dekker Takes Risk with New Serial Novel Eyes Wide Open

Identity (Book 1), Mirrors (Book 2), Unseen (Book 3) and Seer (Book 4) are all part of a four episode thrill ride from New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker.  Combined, these sections puzzle together an almost 300-page book called Eyes Wide Open.  First launched at the end of December with the free Identity, it continued at a one book per week serial pace and are now all currently available in e-book format separately. In February, all will combine as Eyes Wide Open for purchase as a paperback or as one e-book. It is also available in audio book format.  I love the covers of each book too, which I’ll show throughout the post. They are amazing and fit the story perfectly! Great symbolism!

Eyes Wide open no whiteSynopsis for Eyes Wide Open, The Complete Story~
 
Who am I?
 
My name is Christy Snow. I’m seventeen and I’m about to die.I’m buried in a coffin under tons of concrete. No one knows where I am. My heart sounds like a monster with clobber feet, running straight toward me. I’m lying on my back, soaked with sweat from the hair on my head to the soles of my feet. My hands and feet won’t stop shaking.Some will say that I m not really here. Some will say I’m delusional. Some will say that I don t even exist. But who are they? I’m the one buried in a grave.My name is Christy Snow. I’m seventeen. I’m about to die.So who are you? In a return to the kind of storytelling that made Black, Showdown and Three unforgettable, New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker drags that question into the light with this modern-day parable about how we see ourselves.Humming with intensity and blindsided twists, Eyes Wide Open is raw adrenaline from the first page to the last pure escapism packed with inescapable truth. Not all is as it seems. Or is it? Strap yourself in for the ride of your life. Literally. (Young Adult)
 
My Review Continued~

Ted Dekker is one of my top five favorite authors of all time in any genre. When he sent out an e-mail asking his loyal readers to sign-up for an exciting release, and offered the first section free, I jumped at the chance to check it out. Identity really held my interest and I moved through it in an hour or less and couldn’t wait for the next installment. The action was intense and I felt like the main character, Christy, fell through the proverbial Wonderland rabbit hole and into a milder version of an evil asylum all to end up popping through (instead of in) a coat closet to Narnia. 

IDENTITY_ebook_cover_MC

By the way, Identity was still free at the time of this post:  http://www.amazon.com/Identity-Eyes-Wide-Open-ebook/dp/B00ATRCPSE

My head was spinning throughout Mirrors and I was as confused as the characters were. The Wonderland analogy in a demented and diluted sort of way kept appearing to me as well as similar allegorical themes such as sometimes illusions can seem so real that they become real.  I was really confused and a little horrified (which is a good thing) by the beginning of Unseen, but parts of it also really touched my heart and I could relate to this message. It’s one I struggle with. It is a Christian message, more clear than in most any other book I’ve read by him, but for me, so endearing. Really, anyone can use a reminder on the message of hope and beauty. It is about humankind and love.  I wish so much I could tell you, but I don’t want to spoil it for you.

Corridor

I couldn’t wait for Seer to hit for purchase this week and luckily enough it came early. And with it, as I read it, came an enlightenment on the entire book, as how we stumble sometimes upon an enlightenment in our life.  I was so happy and fulfilled.  We need to sometimes not just “take off our rose-colored glasses” but also put on our lenses (or lamps as in the book) and see our light and “the” light.  Dekker, through the other characters, reminds us that everyone’s timing and road is different.  Just as some of the other characters weren’t complete by the end, I was also left hoping for more about a mysterious stranger we are introduced to in book 3 and 4.  At the end of Seer, I was pleasantly surprised and excited to see that he announced a new novel (maybe a series) focusing on this character and probably some of the other characters we already grew to know and feel compassion for.

Ted Dekker Unseen

Don’t try to read that cover of Unseen instantly, it won’t work. It is just the only cover I could find….

I will always want to read anything he likes and I won’t judge if I’ll continue to read him or not based on any certain book or series. Why? Because he is always pushing his own boundaries as well as ours as readers; he’s trying new things and taking risks. Sometimes that works better than other times, but he always entertains as well as makes a reader think (as long as that reader is willing to think).

He is a Christian author and sometimes his books are allegorical in nature, but many of his suspense thrillers can be read by anyone who just loves straight mind-bending psychological suspense. He doesn’t always sell himself as a Christian author.  However, in this series none of the marketing materials or content (plus he self-published using his Outlaw Studios so there isn’t any Christian publisher involved) mentioned that there would be a Christian message. He already has some secular horror and suspense readers up in arms over there being no “warning.” Is that something that needs to be done? What do you think?  I thought the message was an important one, whether you are a Christian or not, and anyone of any belief could find inspiring and motivational insight behind the message he presents in this book. 

Ted Dekker SeerIn regards to his marketing choices as well, he also didn’t really announce it as a young adult novel. Reading his other books, I felt the writing style was plainer and thought it didn’t quite feel like him. Anyone reading him for the first time should not judge his other works on this. I felt that he either rushed this plot and prose and didn’t polish it up, or he meant it for young adults. Without him saying which, I struggled with the whole book on this point since I was caught off guard. Again, as with the point previously mentioned, maybe he wanted to gain as many readers as possible to get to a #1 Amazon spot, but I feel he did himself a small injustice as an author.

Also, I bet if he announced as young adult appropriate, which it was, he would have gotten more readers. Many of his books teens probably shouldn’t read due to their nature so parents wouldn’t know to purchase for their kids too. It is totally teen appropriate and the message such a good learning point for them. It needs on a YA list!  When doing research for this blog (there is nothing up on his website as of 1/15/2013) it took me days to find any reference to it being a young adult genre, which I finally spotted on an Amazon synopsis (you can see for yourself on the synopsis I posted from there).

The only other final thing I have to remark on, and I hate to do it to my favorite author, but he really needed to slow down with this book. He really needed to hire an editor and if he did, he needs his money back. This was the most awful display of missed words and errors that I have ever seen in a bestselling author. Many times I got held up on a word that was missing and I am fast reader who skims. I don’t know how many times I remarked on this. It made me feel as if he just didn’t put the care into it. Yes, the first book was free but his reputation is on the line with new readers. What kind of impression is this? Also, the next three books were $2.99 each for about 100 pages each…that is quite a bit of money for me to spend–$10 for a 300 page e-book.  We have a collection of his books on our shelf too, if we wanted to get the combined paperback in February it would be another $14.99 and how do I know that the errors will be corrected??  He may get away with leaning on the fact that people like me who are dire hard fans will purchase anyway, but really we should still get our money’s worth.  If you are going to self-publish more works Ted Dekker, please hire an editor (I’m available!!).

That said, readers and Ted too, don’t take me wrong. I am a marketer and PR person by trade and I tend to have an eye that looks towards these issues. I know that Ted Dekker took a big gamble on self-publishing, which means he has to write and market his own books. (I’m happy to offer advice!)

Overall, it was a great new endeavor in taking a risk and trying several new things which are serial e-books, making a prequel so huge that everyone wants to join the club for what’s coming up next, offering his first free e-book section to create a buzz, and for him, self-publishing. I’m glad I was paying attention to his Facebook page and was already signed-up to receive his e-mail messages. It’s how I knew about the book coming out…his website doesn’t have any info. He really does treat his loyal fans well, so if you are a fan, be sure to sign-up on his website to get email notices or follow his Facebook updates.

I loved the story overall. It messed with my mind and made me think and cry and wonder all at various times. It felt surreal and yet real and it took ahold of my thoughts for weeks. I’d recommend the read and I really can’t wait for the next novel.

Ted Dekker, Biography~

td-headshotTed Dekker (born October 24, 1962) is a New York Times best-selling author of more than twenty novels. He is best known for stories which could be broadly described as suspense thrillers with major twists and unforgettable characters, though he has also made a name for himself among fantasy fans.
 
He is a New York Times bestselling author of over thirty novels. Heralded as a “master of suspense” by Library Journal, Dekker has sold millions worldwide, establishing himself as one of the most widely recognized author brands. Dekker was born to missionaries and grew up among cannibals of Indonesia, and his peculiar upbringing gives him a unique perspective outside the cultural bubble, allowing him the freedom to share provocative insights in his fiction.

Because his parents’ work often included extended periods of time away from their children, Dekker describes his early life in a culture to which he was a stranger as both fascinating and lonely. It is this unique upbringing that forced him to rely on his own imagination to create a world in which he belonged.

After leaving Indonesia, Dekker graduated from a multi-cultural high school and took up permanent residence in the United States to study Philosophy and Religion. Upon earning his Bachelor’s Degree, he entered the corporate world and proceeded to climb the proverbial ladder. But his personal drive left him restless and, after many successful years, he traded corporate life for wide range of entrepreneurial pursuits that included buying and selling businesses, healthcare services, and marketing.

In the early nineties while visiting a friend who had just written a book, Dekker decided to pursue a long held desire to be a novelist. Over the course of two years he wrote two full length novels before starting from scratch and rewriting both. Now fully enamored by the the process and the stories, he realized that storytelling was in his blood and a new obsession to explore truth through story gripped him anew.

He sold his business, moved his family to the mountains of Western Colorado and began writing full-time on his third novel. Two years and three novels later his first novel was published.

Dekker’s novels have sold over 5 million copies worldwide. Two of his novels, Thr3e and House, have been made into movies with more in production. Dekker resides in Austin, Texas with his wife Lee Ann and two of their daughters.

You can find him at Teddekker.com and Facebook.com/teddekker.

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